Shinozaki Ai has made a comeback with “Kuchi No Warui Onna“, and I seriously hope she finds success in this field cause she’s putting out better work than most other pop stars in Japan at this point.
The ska instrumental was immediately interesting to me for reasons that should be obvious to people who regularly read the site, as the big band sound hit it off from the start. It’s an upbeat track that’s basically neo-swing music, and it carries the momentum throughout and ends up having a high replay value due to how catchy it gets.
The verses are nice and steady, with a rhythm to them that’s easy to get into, and her vocals are clean but thankfully lack the typical high-pitched mess that a lot of J-pop gets caught up in. As a result, everything sounds a lot more natural, and as the track builds through the pre-chorus there’s really a swell to the music. The chorus itself has a ton of energy to it and is infectious as hell, but it also has a hook quality of repeating a phrase “shut it up” that really helps make it an earworm.
Vocally, Ai seems to handle the demands of the track with aplomb, never seeming out of her element or stretched too far. Perhaps the key part to the song is the instances before the pre-chorus and after the hook where there’s silence and a sensualness to her voice there. It does what a lot of J-pop tracks lack in that it allows the noise to rest instead of just going on mindlessly. In any case, this was definitely right up my alley and I’ll be sorely disappointed if this doesn’t help her gain traction in the music industry.
The song title translates to ‘woman with a foul mouth’ and the music video conveys that concept of sass and being fed up well. Granted, it’s not some kind of elaborate plot or expensive extravaganza, but either option would be an odd choice for a track like this to begin with.
The music video does its job perfectly of conveying the feeling the song is supposed to give off, and it definitely adds to the atmosphere and attitude of it all.
In terms of Shinozaki Ai’s visual, it’s actually interesting to see what she does. While many idols try so desperately hard to be sexy, in a lot of ways she has to go out of her way to not be sexy so she can be taken seriously and not just be seen as giant tits with a voice. People already know she’s sexy, and she’s attractive enough even when covered up to make it work, and she generally gives off a feel that she knows it.
I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that somebody who has spent so much of her life in front of a camera knows what to do, but the transition has been smoother than I thought. In the end, I think she toes the line exceptionally well for her concepts, showing self-awareness about how others perceive her and using that to get them to see her as more.
Honestly? I sorta feel bad for her in a way. Shinozaki Ai has an adorable face and a gigantic natural bust, so generally speaking that’s all people know her for or want to see. But in terms of her musical career, she’s done nothing but show that she has the chops for it and a desire to be taken seriously (going as far as making people choose), and I see no reason why she shouldn’t be. That’s especially true after “Kuchi No Warui Onna”, which is one of the best pop tracks I’ve heard out of Japan this year.
As a bonus, here’s her performing the song live and destroying all your faves.